Protein kinase C activation is required for the lead-induced inhibition of proliferation and differentiation of cultured oligodendroglial progenitor cells

Wenbin Deng, Ronald D. Poretz

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Lead (Pb) is a common neurotoxicant of major public health concern. Previous studies revealed that cultured oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) are highly vulnerable to Pb toxicity. The present study examines the effect of Pb on the survival, proliferation and differentiation of OPCs in vitro. Dose-response studies showed that ≥5-10 μM Pb is cytotoxic to OPCs within 24 h. However, 1 μM of Pb was found to inhibit the proliferation and differentiation of OPCs without affecting cell viability. Pb markedly decreased the proliferative capability of OPCs and inhibited cell-intrinsic lineage progression of OPCs at a late progenitor stage. The Pb-induced decrease of proliferation and differentiation was abolished by inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) with bisindolylmaleimide I, while the effect of the PKC-activating agent phorbol-12,13-didecanoate was potentiated by Pb. Furthermore, Pb exposure of OPCs caused the translocation of PKC from the cytoplasm to membrane without an increase in total cellular PKC enzymic activity. These results indicate that Pb inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte lineage cells in vitro through a mechanism requiring PKC activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Differentiation
  • Lead toxicity
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • PKC
  • Proliferation
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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